Leeds railways bridge gets ‘landmark’ paint job

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A railway bridge in Leeds city centre is to be painted in rainbow colours to celebrate diversity.

The structure, which carries trains north over Lower Briggate, is due to be upgraded this month by Network Rail as part of a repair and strengthening programme.

As part of the work, engineers will re-paint the bridge with a bespoke design using cash donated by the LGBT community and Leeds City Council.

Work begins on Monday and will continue until February, with no impact on road or rail services.

Neil Henry, area director for Network Rail, said:

“Work at the bridge on Lower Briggate, which carries a huge number of vital passenger services to the north of Leeds, is essential to keep rail services reliable and forms part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We’re delighted that our stakeholders want the bridge to become an iconic one for the city and were more than happy to work with them on the new colour scheme.”

LGBT campaigner Thomas Wales came up with the idea od decorating the bridge, which is based on a version of the Freedom Flag originally designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978.

Coun Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy executive member for culture, said:

“The plans for this bridge represent a tremendous show of support for the city’s LGBT community. Not only will the rainbow bridge be an eye-catching addition to what is already a lively and eclectic part of Leeds, it will also make a huge statement to our many visitors that here, we embrace and celebrate diversity and the contribution it makes to ensuring Leeds is such a warm, welcoming and successful city.”